About mercury thermometer?

Why does a common mercury thermometer consist of a large-volume mercury-filled bulb attached to a capillary tube?

The bulb contains enough mercury (or in other designs this can be another liquid) which expands or contracts with changing temperature. The narrow tube has a vacuum and as the mercury expands or contracts in the bulb, the change in volume of the mercury is shown by the extent to which the mercury rises up the narrow tube.

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